Olympics consider bold new plan.
The ultimate team running event - cross country - has never been an Olympic sport. The greatest barrier to gaining Olympic recognition has been the size of venue needed coupled with the usual “spectator unfriendly” nature of the sport. Under a bold new plan that is likely to change.
Cross Country International has paired with Motocross Unlimited to put forth a joint proposal to the IOC in which both sports would share the same venue. Motocross has successfully developed the concept of short course competition that fits within indoor stadiums. CCI recognized the winding and hilly courses as a natural for cross country racing. Final decisions by the IOC have yet to be made, but CCI is aggressively promoting the idea with a series of races that bookend motocross competitions.
Hi-Flying Arena Motocross traditionally performs on Friday and Saturday nights. Cross country races would be held on Friday afternoons just prior to motorcycle competition with one admission to cover both events. Then the popularity of the running portion of the show would be gauged by a separate Sunday noon performance.
Both BMX and Mountain Bike promoters have seen this as a window to also be considered for entrance into Olympic recognition. Currently BMX Limited and Mountain Biking USA are in a bidding war for the Saturday lead-in slot. MU has so far been adverse to any other wheeled competitions.
Motocross fans have been skeptics. They have expressed doubt that runners can generate the same mass appeal due their inability to pull off 60' leaps and lack of roaring engines. Yet, CCI has developed plans to rev up the competition. They have scheduled “Clydesdale Teams” of 250+ pound runners with “roller derby style” contact allowed and a women's competition with a mud-wrestling pit after every mile.